Friday, April 30, 2010

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is a natural for curry spice blend.  Peas and all legumes are low in fat, cholesterol free,  high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium and an excellent source of protein and fiber.
The turmeric in the curry has medicinal qualities, most recently shown to fight Alzheimer's disease.

Start with 2 TB curry powder gently cooked in a little clarified butter (ghee) or olive oil, add the onions and cook on low until onions are translucent, about 10minutes, garlic may be added at this point, but don't let it brown or the soup will be bitter. You may wish to spice up your curry spice powder with a little extra ground fennel seed, cumin, ginger, nutmeg or cinnamon.  Curry powder is a blend of spices and can be, and is really best made  fresh by the cook....but the store bought is wonderfully convenient, and is easily embellished. Add 6 cups vegetable broth or water, and peas to the sauteed onions and simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Half way through the cooking add chopped celery and half of the shredded carrots. More curry powder may be added to taste while the peas are simmering. The remaining shredded carrots are added during the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking. Chopped flat leaf parsely is added after the soup has been removed from the heat, this will help keep its bright green color. Finely chopped kale can be used in place of the parley, but should be added 7-10 minutes before end of cooking.

Pictured here is a yellow spit pea, their color works better with the color of the yellow (turmeric) curry. Split peas love carrots, 6 have been shredded and will be added throughout the cooking process for a variety of textures. The finished soup is topped with fresh yogurt and a generous squeeze of lemon.

Curry powder is available in the spice section of the supermarket, avoid the Spice Islands Brand, try a few, and for the real curry powder lovers shop online, locals head over to Artesia's little India and stock up on an amazing variety of incredible garam masalas. 

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